Category Archives: Smart Decorating

Summer Decorating

Thankfully the weather has turned warmer and with more daylight hours we have more energy to start those decorating projects we have been putting off.  There’s another great motivator that helps us get things done, and that is the thought that “company’s coming”!  Most of us are driven to clean and spruce things up before company arrives.

There are lots of sources on-line for spring cleaning and getting organized, but once that’s done, you may want to freshen up your décor.  For decorating projects, you may be undecided about how to finish what you started.  Or maybe you just need a mini-makeover with a set of fresh (trained) eyes that will help you utilize what you already have.  In any case, here are some inspirational ideas to help get you started.  Continue reading

Collecting Photographs – An Affordable Art Option

A good interior decorator will work with you at every step, ensuring that a room accurately reflects your personality and style. However,  in the end what makes a room feel lived in, is personal items that are added over time.

For many people one of the main ways of personalizing a room is with art. From teenagers with posters of music stars and students with posters of their favourite cult film, to art works picked up on vacation, everyone has images they love. For many, collecting art can be a bit daunting. People within the art field lament the commercialization of art, i.e. that art is about resale value rather than love.  Continue reading

7. Buy Green

There is so much information available on the internet, it is easy to find out about companies who have  adopted green manufacturing processes.  For example, Brentwood Classics ( north of Toronto uses “bio-plush foam” made from natural soy beans, in their sofas.  They are a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council ( which lists green furniture manufacturers.  Continue reading

6. Reuse, Refinish, Reupholster

If your furniture is looking tired, consider giving your wood pieces new life with a professional paint job.  And for your sofa or chairs, how about some fresh, organic cotton slip-covers or new fabric with recycled content.  For example, the Kravet Green Collection ( of fabrics is made of 100% recycled polyester and is not treated with additional chemicals.  And after years of use these fabrics can be recycled again.  Continue reading

5. Buy Vintage or Architectural Salvage

With today’s eclectic mix of home furnishing styles, incorporating antiques or vintage furnishings into your rooms makes for a wonderful, warm environment that speaks about history, nostalgia and meaningful treasures.

Also, there are lots of options for purchasing from artisans who craft furniture from salvaged wood, like old dismantled buildings, barns, etc. – you can’t get much greener than that. Continue reading

4. Buy Local

There are economic and environmental benefits of doing business with local manufacturer.
By purchasing locally we support the Canadian economy; and reduce freight and transportation costs, thus reducing toxic carbon emissions.

Another benefit is that locally manufactured products are usually made in smaller batches and by hand, ensuring a superior level of quality and craftsmanship.

3. Less is More

In my business, a room doesn’t look finished until it has all the right accessories. My design mantra is not new one, but one that I try to remember, “less is more”. It’s far better to make a design statement with one or two large pieces than with a large number of smaller pieces.

Note: “Less is More” originated from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as a precept for minimalist design.

2. Buy Classic

Consider purchasing less “trendy” furnishings especially for big ticket items. They will never go out-of-style. A styling trick is to mix classic with a few modern or trendy pieces to keep the look current.  Check out this Florence Knoll “Sullivan” sofa.  It doesn’t look like mid-century style, does it? And that’s what makes it a classic!  Continue reading

1. Buy Quality

By purchasing better quality furnishings and classic styles, we reduce the amount of garbage going to landfill.  Try to avoid purchasing home decor that will have a very short life, because they will  break down, wear out, go out-of-style, or we’ll simply get tired of them. Remember, you get what you pay for in terms of quality. It’s true, things don’t last forever, but good quality will last longer. And if you do get tired of something, you’ll be able to sell it or pass it on to someone else, instead of throwing it out.